Definitions for WHATʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word WHAT

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

what*ʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət(pron.)

  1. (used interrogatively as a request for specific information):

    What is the matter?

    Category: Function Word

  2. (used interrogatively to inquire about the character, occupation, etc., of a person):

    What does he do?

    Category: Function Word

  3. (used interrogatively to inquire as to the origin, identity, etc., of something):

    What are those birds?

    Category: Function Word

  4. (used interrogatively to inquire as to the worth, usefulness, force, or importance of something):

    What is wealth without friends?

    Category: Function Word

  5. (used interrogatively to request a repetition of words or information not fully understood, usu. used in elliptical constructions):

    You need what?

    Category: Function Word

  6. (used interrogatively to inquire the reason or purpose of something, usu. used in elliptical constructions):

    What of it?

    Category: Function Word

  7. how much?:

    What does it cost?

    Category: Function Word

  8. (used relatively to indicate that which):

    I will send what was promised.

    Category: Function Word

  9. whatever; anything that:

    Come what may.

    Category: Function Word

  10. the kind of thing or person that:

    She said just what I was expecting.

    Category: Function Word

  11. as much as; as many as:

    We should each give what we can.

    Category: Function Word

  12. the thing or fact that (used in parenthetic clauses):

    He went to the meeting and, what was worse, insisted on speaking.

    Category: Function Word

  13. (used to indicate more to follow, additional possibilities, alternatives, etc.):

    You know what?

    Category: Function Word

  14. (used as an intensifier in exclamatory phrases, often fol. by an indefinite article):

    What luck! What an idea!

    Category: Function Word

  15. Brit. don't you agree?:

    An unusual chap, what?

    Category: Function Word, British

  16. Nonstandard. that; which; who:

    She's the one what told me.

    Category: Function Word, Status (usage)

  17. (n.)the true nature or identity of something, or the sum of its characteristics:

    the whats and hows of crop rotation.

  18. (adj.)(used interrogatively before nouns):

    What clothes shall I pack?

  19. whatever:

    Take what supplies you need.

  20. (adv.)to what extent or degree? how much?:

    What does it matter?

  21. (used to introduce a prepositional phrase beginning with with):

    What with storms and all, their return was delayed.

  22. (interj.)(used in exclamatory expressions, often fol. by a question):

    What, no kiss?

  23. (conj.)Older Use. as much as; as far as:

    He helps me what he can.

    Category: Function Word, Status (usage)

Idioms for what:

  1. but what,Informal. but that:

    Who knows but what the sun may still shine.

    Category: Function Word, Informal, Idiom

  2. so what, (an expression of disinterest, disinclination, or contempt.)

    Category: Function Word, Informal, Idiom

  3. what for, why: a punishment or scolding:

    What are you doing that for?

    My mother will give me what for if I come home late again.

    Category: Function Word, Idiom

  4. what have you, other things of the same kind; so forth:

    money, jewels, and what have you.

    Category: Function Word, Idiom

  5. what if, what would be the outcome if; suppose that:

    What if we get lost?

    Category: Function Word, Idiom

  6. what it takes, whatever characteristics or aids will insure one's success, as intelligence, talent, good looks, or wealth.

    Category: Idiom

  7. what's what, the true situation; all the facts:

    Ask someone who knows what's what.

    Category: Function Word, Informal, Idiom

* Usage: See doubt.

Origin of what:

bef. 900; ME; OE hwæt, c. OS huat, OHG (h)waz, ON hvat, Go hwa, L quod, Skt kād

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. what(determiner)ʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    used to ask for specific information

    What time is the meeting tomorrow?; What type of food would you like?

  2. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    emphasizes a description

    What a terrible thing to do!; What beautiful children you have.

  3. what(pronoun)ʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    used to ask for specific information

    What do you think she's going to say?; What did you do?

  4. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    the thing that is being talked about

    She told me what had happened.

  5. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    used to ask about the purpose of sth

    What's this money for?; What did you do that for?

  6. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    used to ask why

    "I told them to leave." "What for?"

  7. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    used to introduce a possibility

    What if he doesn't come?; What if we try a different way.

  8. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    indicates you do not think sth is important

    "You left your bike outside." "So what?"

  9. what(interjection)ʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    used to ask sb to repeat sth that you did not hear

    What? Did you say 4,000?

  10. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    indicates you are listening

    "Mom!" "What?" "Can we watch TV now?"

  11. whatʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət

    indicates surprise or anger

    What! The tickets are sold out?

Wiktionary

  1. what(Adverb)

    In some manner or degree; in part; partly; usually followed by with.

    What with singing and joking, the time passed quickly.

  2. what(Adverb)

    Such; this is; that is.

  3. what(Adverb)

    Why?

  4. what(Adverb)

    Used to introduce each of two coordinate phrases or concepts; both...and.

  5. what(Pronoun)

    which thing, event, circumstance, etc.: used interrogatively in asking for the specification of an identity, quantity, quality, etc.

  6. what(Pronoun)

    An interrogative which asks "Don't you agree?"

    It's rather late, what?

  7. what(Pronoun)

    that; which

  8. what(Pronoun)

    that which; those that; the thing that

  9. what(Interjection)

    which; which kind of.

  10. what(Interjection)

    an expression of surprise or disbelief.

  11. what(Interjection)

    is that not true?

    Itu2019s a nice day, what? (sometimes repeated, e.g.: What-what?)

  12. what(Interjection)

    how much; how great (used in an exclamation)

    Itu2019s a nice day, what? (sometimes repeated, e.g.: What-what?)

  13. Origin: from hwæt, from hwat, from kʷos (which also gave us who).

Webster Dictionary

  1. What

    as an interrogative pronoun, used in asking questions regarding either persons or things; as, what is this? what did you say? what poem is this? what child is lost?

  2. What

    as an exclamatory word: -- (a) Used absolutely or independently; -- often with a question following

  3. What

    used adjectively, meaning how remarkable, or how great; as, what folly! what eloquence! what courage!

  4. What

    sometimes prefixed to adjectives in an adverbial sense, as nearly equivalent to how; as, what happy boys!

  5. What

    as a relative pronoun

  6. What

    used substantively with the antecedent suppressed, equivalent to that which, or those [persons] who, or those [things] which; -- called a compound relative

  7. What

    used adjectively, equivalent to the . . . which; the sort or kind of . . . which; rarely, the . . . on, or at, which

  8. What

    used adverbially in a sense corresponding to the adjectival use; as, he picked what good fruit he saw

  9. What

    whatever; whatsoever; what thing soever; -- used indefinitely

  10. What

    used adverbially, in part; partly; somewhat; -- with a following preposition, especially, with, and commonly with repetition

  11. What(noun)

    something; thing; stuff

  12. What

    why? For what purpose? On what account?

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'WHAT' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #53

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'WHAT' in Written Corpus Frequency: #21


Translations for WHAT

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary

what(adjective)

used in questions etc when asking someone to point out, state etc one or more persons, things etc

What street is this?; What's your name/address / telephone number?; What time is it?; What (kind of) bird is that?; What is he reading?; What did you say?; What is this cake made of?; `What do you want to be when you grow up?' `A doctor.'; Tell me what you mean; I asked him what clothes I should wear.

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